Have you been dealing with heel pain for weeks or months? Dr. Robert Linn in Ocala, FL, explains why it's not a good idea to ignore the pain and shares information on common causes.
Time doesn't always heal all wounds
In many cases, heel pain gets better fairly quickly if you stay off your feet, apply ice to your heel and take over-the-counter medication. If your pain continues after a week or two, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with Dr. Linn. If you ignore the pain, it might just become a chronic problem or worsen.
Overuse injuries are a common cause of heel pain
Did you recently decide that daily four-mile runs on the Cross Florida Greenway Trail in Ocala were the way to get back in shape? Although dedication to good health is admirable, many people take on too much too soon when they begin exercising, which can cause an overuse injury. Overuse injuries also occur when you suddenly increase the intensity or duration of your usual exercise routine. Overuse injuries can cause these conditions:
- Stress Fractures: When your muscles can no longer handle the strain of an activity, the burden is transferred to your bones, which causes small cracks. Overuse injuries aren't the only cause of stress fractures. They can also happen if you wear unsupportive shoes or use poor form when you run.
- Bursitis and Tendinitis: Retrocalcaneal bursitis and Achilles tendinitis are often diagnosed in people who run or walk for exercise or work in jobs that require standing. Inflammation is the cause of the pain in both of these conditions.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Runners, particularly those who don't wear supportive shoes, are at risk for developing plantar fasciitis, a condition that causes inflammation in the tough band of connective tissue that runs under your foot. Arch problems, obesity, tight Achilles tendons and standing for long periods are other risk factors.
Other causes of heel pain
Fractures, although not very common, can occur if you've fallen, jumped or been in a vehicular accident. A less serious, but still painful, cause of heel pain is a stone bruise. The condition occurs when you step on a hard object or don't wear shoes that support or cushion your heel.
How can a podiatrist help me?
Podiatrists offer many treatments that help reduce pain. Although treatments vary depending on the cause of your condition, you may benefit from physical therapy, orthotics, casts or boots, shock wave therapy, and in severe cases surgery.
Find relief from your heel pain with a visit to Dr. Linn in Ocala, FL. Call him at (352) 861-1055 to schedule an appointment.